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A process-based model of conifer forest structure and function with special emphasis on leaf lifespan

Osborne, C.P. and Beerling, D.J. (2002) A process-based model of conifer forest structure and function with special emphasis on leaf lifespan. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16 (4). 44-1-44-23. ISSN 0886-6236

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Abstract

We describe the University of Sheffield Conifer Model (USCM), a process-based approach for simulating conifer forest carbon, nitrogen, and water fluxes by up-scaling widely applicable relationships between leaf lifespan and function. The USCM is designed to predict and analyze the biogeochemistry and biophysics of conifer forests that dominated the ice-free high-latitude regions under the high pCO2 “greenhouse” world 290–50 Myr ago. It will be of use in future research investigating controls on the contrasting distribution of ancient evergreen and deciduous forests between hemispheres, and their differential feedbacks on polar climate through the exchange of energy and materials with the atmosphere. Emphasis is placed on leaf lifespan because this trait can be determined from the anatomical characteristics of fossil conifer woods and influences a range of ecosystem processes. Extensive testing of simulated net primary production and partitioning, leaf area index, evapotranspiration, nitrogen uptake, and land surface energy partitioning showed close agreement with observations from sites across a wide climatic gradient. This indicates the generic utility of our model, and adequate representation of the key processes involved in forest function using only information on leaf lifespan, climate, and soils.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: "Article published in Global, Geochemcial Cycles, Vol 16., No.4, 1097. Copyright 2002 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted."
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2004
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 03:43
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/64

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